Phi Gamma Delta House Corporation Bulletin. April Newsletter.  
April 2020 House Corporation Newsletter

In This Issue

The New Normal?

Addressing COVID-19

1848 Housing Committee Webinars

End of Year Tips

Message from Our Preferred Partners

Annual Awards


Now more than ever we thank you for the work that you do to provide housing for an undergraduate chapter of Phi Gamma Delta. That work is important, and the Fraternity wants to provide the resources that you need to be effective. 

This message will address a number of matters that should be of interest to you and concerns you may have during these unforeseen times. 

The New Normal? Message from Steve Bocher, Chairman of 1848 Housing

While the Fraternity has gone through difficult times in our history, this period will undoubtedly be looked at as one of the most challenging in the past 70 years.

I wish I could share with you with certainty what the new normal will be, but no one can do that. What I can share with great confidence is that it will not just be business as usual in August/September 2020. This means that we need to begin anticipating changes that may be required come the fall semester and beyond. Here is a partial list of some of the issues that you will want to start considering:

 1. Enrollment numbers changing. Reports from a variety of sources suggest that there could be a 20% reduction in the freshman class as a result of the pandemic. This might not affect your house numbers for the fall semester, but it will of course impact recruitment and the numbers for either later that year or in 2021. 

There is also speculation that a percentage of out of state students may not return to the school they attended this past year in the fall. This of course could have an immediate financial impact on the HC.

We may need to be prepared to include cancellation clauses in our lease if COVID-19 resurfaces again next year during the typical "flu" season.

 2. Changes in cleaning. It is very likely that there will be new standards/expectations for house cleaning processes in communal housing. This may either be government driven or simply the expectation of the parents and students. It is possible that this will mean more frequent cleaning and may necessitate the use of professional cleaning services. In either case, it is safe to assume that you will be spending more on cleaning and cleaning supplies next year.

 3. Food operations. There are several concerns in this area, including whether buffet-style / communal eating will be allowed, or if individual servings or to-go containers are needed. This could result in higher costs for both containers and serving food. There could also be new cleaning/sanitation standards, and unless you are outsourcing your food service to a professional organization, it could mean more time and effort will be required to oversee food service. (Note: we do not recommend the chapter should be overseeing this directly with a provider. Rather, the employment of a chef or food service company be done by the house corporation, and we mentor and use student involvement as a learning experience.)

 4. Changes in lease length/time. There are already reports that some institutions have announced shorter semesters and changes in finals week, which suggests that students could be on campus for less time. This means costs will have to be allocated over a shorter period of time (looking like a rate increase to the men). House corporations are going to need to monitor this for how it applies to food service and cleaning contracts as well.

 5. Lost revenue and impacts on reserves, maintenance and improvements. Undoubtedly, many house corporations are going to have experienced some "loss of revenue" from the recent pandemic. Combined with the above factors, it is going to be difficult but important to rebuild reserves and stay on track with repairs and maintenance so that the quality of the housing experience does not get compromised. There also needs to be consideration for a reoccurrence or new crisis that emerges soon and ensure that the HC will be financially ready to face what happens.

 6. Communications with undergraduates and graduates. While you may not know exactly what changes you will need to make, we encourage you to stay in close communications with the chapter and your graduate base, keeping them posted on what is happening with your chapter house. We encourage that you err on the side of over-communication with both undergraduates and graduates.

1848 Housing is here to support you! We are not going to have all the answers, but know that you are not in this alone and we will try to help you any way we can. Please continue to check the Housing section under the Graduate tab on the Phi Gamma Delta website for resources. 

Stay well,

Steve Bocher

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Addressing COVID-19

Life in the last month has changed how we work, communicate and understand society around us. We have all had to adapt quickly, adjusting every aspect of our lives. The nature of this pandemic is unknown, but the 1848 Housing Committee wants to make you aware that we are available as a resource to answer your questions. We also want to encourage you to look ahead to determine your financial staying power and have taken proper steps to protect your facility.

The headquarter staff continues to encourage all House Corporation members to access the resources and guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources can be found on the COVID-19 Guidance page.

Finally, we want to provide a summary report to the Archons, on the state of housing amidst this crisis.

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1848 Housing Committee Webinars

The 1848 Housing Committee will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, April 23, on the topic of property management, highlighting the pros and cons of using an outside company for maintenance. This will be a Q&A style discussion with a panel made up of representatives from our suggested property management vendors.

You can also find previous webinar recordings on the 1848 Housing Webinar page, discussing topics such as building and renovating spaces, fundraising, new kitchen management programs and more.

Please register for 1848 Housing Webinar - Pros/Cons of Using an Outside Company for Maintenance/Property Management on April 23 at 7:00 pm ET HERE. After  registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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End of the Year Tips

The pandemic at hand may have caused your house corporation to have shut down the facility and ensure it is prepared for the summer months. If you have not already prepared your facility for closure, here are some tips to help with end-of-year closing procedures:

 - Service air conditioning system if needed
 - Examine exterior of house, repair roof/gutters, paint exterior
 - Fertilize lawn, check lawn maintenance tools and make sure gasoline for equipment is stored safely
 - Prepare/install window screens if needed
 - If closing the chapter house for summer, collect all keys before brothers leave for summer, or change all electronic key combinations on the house if brothers are not to have access over the summer
 - Check to make sure doors/locks/windows are functioning correctly
 - Clean/inspect fireplace and chimney
 - Unplug and store any unused appliances or electronics
 - Notify the university and/or local police department if the house is to remain empty over the summer

A more thorough checklist of summer closing procedures is available from our insurance broker, Holmes Murphy, here.

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Message from Our Preferred Partners

Upper Crust Food Service
Has your House Corporation properly closed it's kitchen? Upper Crust Food Service has provided guidance when it comes to properly shutting down your kitchen for the summer months. This article also highlights preventative maintenance and the impact it can have on your kitchen equipment. Click here to read Upper Crust's Kitchen Closing Checklist.

Columns Fundraising
What fundraising challenges has COVID-19 brought for your house corporation? Is your house corporation at a standstill when it comes to raising revenue? Columns Fundraising has provided a short article on suggestions to continue generating revenue during time of uncertainty, focused on the idea of communication. Click here to read Columns Fundraising Confidence in Uncertainty article.

Additional Suggested Vendors
If you are a house corporation searching for a property management company, an architecture firm or property insurance, we suggest reviewing the list of suggested vendors on the Housing Resources page. These vendors have very good reviews from Phi Gams who have worked with them. We do not have an exclusive relationship with these companies. They are merely suggested vendors.

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Apply for the 2019 Awards

The deadline for awards has been extended to Thursday, April 16 at 11:59 pm PT. Visit for more information and to submit applications. We encourage our House Corporation members to help recognize our graduate brothers for their contributions and/or accomplishments through one of two ways: Individual Awards and the William A. Martin III Distinguished Fiji Award

The Fraternity's awards competition provides several individual awards to recognize deserving brothers for their contributions as graduate volunteers. We encourage you to nominate deserving brothers by submitting an application no later than April 16. These awards include:
 - Coulter Cup: Graduate brother who has contributed the most to an undergraduate chapter through service in a capacity other than as a Purple Legionnaire or General Officer
 - Crowder Cup: Outstanding Faculty Advisor
 - Durrance Award: Outstanding Purple Legionnaire
 - Haynes Award: Most Effective Section Chief

William A. Martin III Distinguished Fiji Award:
Each year, the Archons select up to six accomplished graduate brothers for their faithful and unselfish service to Phi Gamma Delta or their special contribution to mankind and society at-large, recognized by the William A. Martin III Distinguished Fiji Award. We encourage you to nominate deserving brothers by April 16 for consideration this year.

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You are receiving this newsletter because you are listed as a House Corporation member for a Phi Gamma Delta Chapter/Colony. If you are no longer a member of a House Corporation contact Dio Protopapadakis, Director of Graduate Engagement.

You may also contact Dio to determine who is currently listed in the Fraternity's records. 


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